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      Ohio in a battle with potentially costly potholes

      COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio and its communities are fighting to keep up with potholes, which motorists blame for tens of thousands of dollars in vehicle damage.

      A harsh winter has been followed by what's described as "a very large volume" in Columbus. Crews planned to begin an around the clock effort on Monday to patch 20,000 potholes on the city's streets by March 25.

      The Columbus Dispatch reports drivers who say their cars have been beat up by potholes on Ohio highways since January have filed 114 claims with the state totaling $103,500. In recent years, up to 70 percent of claims have been paid.

      The state has spent $41,400 on asphalt to fix potholes so far this winter, less than during the same period last year.

      In Toledo, city crews have been out on the roadways fixing an estimated 1,200 potholes. The holes are being filled with a pebbled tar and are expected to last for up to two years, according to the city's division of Streets, Bridges & Harbor.

      The city says there doesn TMt appear to be more potholes than last year, but the amount of money they have available to fix them has decreased. Despite a reduced budget, city crews have reportedly stepped up to become more efficient in fixing the wide span problem.

      The city is asking motorists to help them identify problem potholes so they can be fixed. If you know an area of concern you are asked to call 419-936-BUMP to report it.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this article.)

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